I will admit this right off the bat. I knew nothing of Jordan Peterson, or any of his ideology before reading this book. I must have existed in a vacuum, as I merely picked this book up as it was given as an "Amazon Recommends."
Curious about the title, I purchased on impulse.
I am very glad I did.
I am not Jordan Peterson's "supposed" target audience. (I used supposed because I don't think he actually claims to have one).
I am a liberal, Asian, left leaning moderate with a background in philosophy, theology and film studies. I support the women's right movement, equal pay, and I find the Republican party of today rather distasteful for the anti-science movement they espouse.
That being said, this book spoke to me. It is not an easy read. I had to re-read chapters slowly to fully condense my thoughts. I agree with the critical review that stated you have to be intellectually equipped to really get the most out of this. I had to utilize my background in philosophy and religion to go beyond the surface of what the author was trying to say. This is not a book you can listen to at 2x speed on Audible and hope to retain anything, imo. You need to digest this.
That being said...
Peterson's deft weaving of theology, mythology, and just overall cogent arguments and viewpoints made me really respect and open up my mind to things I never fully thought about. I find it laughable that a Harvard professor/psychologist has been embraced by the "alt-right" when even a moderately close reading of this text repudiates all that they stand for.
Peterson is direct. He has opinions. I don't always agree with them. But he is genuinely expressing himself, and the belief that we should all try to be better. We should all try to be more compassionate, and most of all, we all should try to understand our humanity a little more each and every there.
There's no division in this book; there's just deep anguish at the current state of humanity and its capacity for evil. There's some exasperation at the way things are currently constructed in society that is in many ways lost. And most of all, there's compassion and a belief that if we all got together in a room and truly talked, the world would be a better place.
I would shy away from the noise around Peterson in the headlines, on Youtube, and in how the idealogues use him (or even his own personal media narrative) to justify their twisted beliefs. Don't let the fact that the "Alt-Right" has co-opted this man to make him a mascot.
Just read the book independently and make your own judgments. You'll be glad you did.
- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Random House Canada; Illustrated edition (23 January 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345816021
- ISBN-13: 978-0345816023
- Product Dimensions:: 16 x 3.4 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 662 g
- Customer reviews: 9,292 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 1,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)